Abbey of St Gall

Abbey of St Gall
Photo by Daniel C-Hazard.

The Abbey of St Gall had a great influence on the development of monastic architecture and is considered to be a typical example of the large Benedictine monastery.

The beginnings of the monastery can be traced back to 612, when the itinerant Irish monk Gallus had established his hermit's cell in this valley. The area soon became a centre of cult-worship.

In 719 this blended into a monastic community, where the Regula Benedicti was introduced.

It was during the abbacy of Gozbert (816-837) that the so-called Golden Age of St. Gall began. Most impressive remains of this period are the Convent's library and archive, containing 150.000 books including numerous treasures.

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Clyde

Malta - 04-Jul-14 -

Abbey of St Gall by Clyde

I visited this WHS in June 2014. Having visited quite a number of monasteries and abbeys in Europe before, I wasn't impressed by the huge complex of churches, chapels, gardens, monastery buildings, etc. especially since they seemed to be relatively new or heavily restored and my first impression was "this is just another abbey like many other on the list". However, I left the Abbey Library for last and what a pleasant surprise it was. I spent at least 2 hours gazing at the pristine library full of old parchment books, an original mummy and a sarcophagus from the Hatsheput Temple in Egypt and a replica of a gorgeous globe (the original is housed in a museum in Zurich). For 12 euros, I got the entrance ticket with the very informative audio guide, wore special footwear over my shoes to protect the wooden floor and for most of the time I had the magnificent place to myself. That said, the number of visitors at a time can be around 100, so it's best to avoid weekends, public holidays or peak hours. I could have spent more time just gazing at the wonderful library as the only downside was that of getting a stiff neck! The library alone to me has OUV and is a jem everyone should behold!


Frederik Dawson

Netherlands - 31-May-10 -

Abbey of St Gall by Frederik Dawson

Since ancient time Sankt Gallen, the capital city of the canton of the same name, was well known for its magnificent abbey which was one of most important monastery in this region and was on my wish list to see for a long time. During my Switzerland tour, I took the Voralpen scenic train from Lucerne to Sankt Gallen, the scenery of pre-alpine region was really pretty and I highly recommended using this train as a mean of transportation to enter the city.

From the train station, it was very easy to reach the abbey by just walk along the lovely car free shopping street until you started to notice the huge complex on your right. The complex was very large with many buildings built encircled the cathedral. Actually I was quite disappointed with the complex's exterior, apart from the cathedral; these buildings were really plain with nothing significant to mention. The unbelievable greenish lawn and the two towers of the cathedral apse were the things to see. However for cathedral's interior, I was really impressed with the beautiful Rococo style and in my opinion, the green stucco decorating the naves were very unique as I had never seen this color in Rococo decoration before.

The monastic library was another highlight of this abbey, hiding in the very plain building both exterior and interior which made me not sure that I was in the correct place, but when I worn the big slippers, for protecting the wooden floor, and entered into the library, I was overwhelmed by the beauty of one of the most beautiful library in the world. The style of library was also Rococo with amazingly beautiful bookshelves and wonderful white stucco around the ceiling fresco, a real jewel of Switzerland. Sadly that photograph was not allowed.

I really enjoyed my day in Sankt Gallen, this city was a very nice place to visit, and the abbey was deserved to be a UNESCO World heritage Site. My only regret was that I had to cancel my plan to visit Richenau of Germany, another monastic WHS that claimed to have strong link with the abbey of Sankt Gallen due to the shopping street was very tempting with many local and international brands! But this maybe a good reason to revisit this area again in the near future!


Klaus Freisinger

Austria - 29-May-10 -

When my flight to Malta and its 3 WHS was canceled because of the volcano, I made a nice train trip instead to St. Gall in Switzerland. It is a medium-sized town with a very pleasant centre full of historic buildings and half-timbered houses. The religious complex in the immediate city centre, consisting of the cathedral and the convent, is a World Heritage Site. Both buildings have a medieval (Carolingian) origin, but were heavily rebuilt in Baroque style. Both are quite nice, but the unmissable part is the library. You can actually only visit one room, but it is full of books and manuscripts that are up to 1,200 years old. A must-see for any history buff.


Assif

Germany -

The greatest thing about St Gall is its old world-known library. It is of immense historic value and still contains unique manuscripts. Otherwise, the medieval monastery was heavily modified to suit the Baroque taste and the result I do not find that impressive.


Site Info

Full Name
Abbey of St Gall
Unesco ID
268
Country
Switzerland
Inscribed
1983
Type
Cultural
Criteria
2 4
Categories
Religious structure - Christian
Link
By ID

Site History

2013 Name change

From "Convent of St. Gall" to "Abbey of St. Gall"

1983 Inscribed

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The site has 1 locations

Abbey of St Gall

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A. Mehmet Haksever A.thum AYB Adam Hancock Afshin Iranpour Aidan Coohill Airpunk Alberto Peterle Alexander Barabanov Alexander Lehmann Alexander Parsons Alfons and Riki Verstraeten Alicemears Allison Vies Ana Lozano Andrea & Uwe Zimmermann Andreas Thum AndreasThum Andrew Wembridge AniaCh Anna Wludarska Argo Artur Anuszewski Aspasia Assif Atila Ege Bin Bob Parda Braza Brigitte Huber CAN SARICA Caminographer Carlos Garrido Caspar Dechmann Cezar Grozavu Chenboada Chenqtao Christian Wagner Christoph Christravelblog Cirene Moraes Claire Bradshaw ClaireWhiteley Cluckily Clyde Colossus Craig Harder Cristina Erba Ctravel CugelVance Dan Pettigrew Daniel C-Hazard Daniel Gabi Daniela Hohmann David Aaronson & Melanie Stowell David Berlanda David Marton Deffra Dejulis@hotmail.com Dhhtravel Dibro Dimitar Krastev Dimitrios Polychronopoulos Dirk-pieter Dorejd Doug Robertson DouglasR Duesi73 EMILY Echwel Elaine McArdle Els Slots Enrique Clemente Eva Kisgyorgy FK FS Fan Yibo Fanguo Farinelli Feldhase Ferrocastor Filip Murlak Frederik Dawson G.L. Ingraham Gary Arndt Geo George Evangelou George Gdanski Gi Gleembru Gwythyr Haining Guan Hammeel Handballrama Harald T. Harry Mitsidis Homadism Howe Siang Tan Hrishikesh Hubert Iain Jackson Ian Cade Isa Kocher Itahue Ivan Ivan Rucek JBTOR Jakob Frenzel Jan Zimmermann Jan-Willem Jana and Matt Jani Hyppanen Janina Lehmann Janis Jarek Pokrzywnicki Jaroslav Klement Jasam Jean Lecaillon Jeanne OGrady Jessica Rademacher Jezza JobStopar Joe Kuri Joel Baldwin John booth Jonas Kremer Jonas Martinsson Jose Antonio Collar Joyce van Soest João Aender Judit Dalla Judith Tanner Juropa KAO KB1 Kai Thorben Kasienka5 Kbecq Kelly Henry Kevin247 Klaus Freisinger Krijn LKERPS Lara Adler Laszlo Buga Lauren Leontine Helleman Lichia Lidiane Lisap Loic Pedras Loratodorova Lorenzo Mejino Luis Filipe Gaspar Luisfreire MH Mahuhe Maki Wang Marcel staron Marianna Marie Morlon Markus Marta Lempert Martin Lind (Switzerland) Martina Ruckova Marty Mateusz Matthewsharris MaxHeAnouBen Mdnichol Michael Mett Michael Novins Michal Marciniak Mikko Milan Jirasek Mirjam L. Mkborys MoPython Mohboh Monika Kalinauskaite Morodhi Nan Nasebaer Nicole Kilian Nihal Ege Nolan B. Nomad99 Olivier MONGIN Orphanos Pang Liang Fong Pascal Cauliez Patphilly Patrik Paul Schofield Payen de La Garanderie Isabelle Peltzi PeterA PeterH Peterbanks Petteri Pg280172 Philipp Leu Philipp Peterer Pieter Dijkshoorn Pietro.clerici.1997@gmail.com Ralf Regele Randi Thomsen Reisedachs Reza Rickard Alfredsson Robin Frank Roger Enarsson Roger Ourset Rom Roman Bruehwiler Roman Koeln Roman Raab S1m0n3t4 SHIHE HUANG Sabrina Liebehentschel Sascha Grabow Sergio Arjona Seudy Shandos Cleaver SirLoydd Skalec Solivagant Sophie Stanimir Stanislaw Warwas SteO153 Stefan A. Michelfeit Subhayan_svnit Super-Sophie Svein Elias Szucs Tamas Tamara Ratz Tarquinio_Superbo Therabidcow Thibault Magnien Thomas Buechler Thomas Harold Watson Thomas van der Walt Tingmelvin Tino A Offner Tom Allen Tony0001 Torkjell Djupedal Travel Addicts Traveling Girl Truls Brekke Tschibi Tsunami Uellendahl Usagi1974 Uwagner VLabhard Van Hung Vanessa Buechler Vanjavod WILLIAM RICH Wait About WalGra Walter Walter H. Wang Qin Werner Huber Wojciech Fedoruk Wolfgang Hlousa WolfgangHl Wrung24 Wtrentfox Xiquinho Silva Yi Han Goh Zhenjun Liu Zos M Zoë Sheng Александар Стојиљковић